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Lily's Crossing
Patricia Reilly Giff
Honor - 1998




Atlantic Ocean, beaches, D-Day, dishonesty, friendship, home front, Hungary, rationing, refugees, Rockaway, World War II (1939-1945)


Set in 1944 just after D-Day, the story follows Lily and her family who always spend the summer in Rockaway in a house on stilts over the Atlantic Ocean. Her friend, Margaret, has moved away to a factory town. Her father is going overseas to fight in the war. Lily has no friends until Albert arrives. He is a refugee from Hungary. They form a special friendship and have secrets to share and lies to hide. Lily learns to see the war and her life in a different way.

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Author and Book Connections
Patricia Reilly Giff (1938- )
Author Information
Book Information
Book Connection. Read a Kids of the Polk Street School book. Compare these books to Lily's Crossing. How are they alike and different?
Fun Connection. Lily and Margaret eat candy in the attic. In groups, trace the history of each candy type. Create a mobile with favorite candy wrappers. Invent a new candybar, wrapper, and advertisement.
Social Studies Connection. Explore the ThinkQuest student project, HomeFront, about life in the US during World War II. Create a timeline on the wall of the classroom showing what might have been happening in Lily's life, in the US, and in other parts of the world during each year of the war. As a class, complete the simulation.
Cool Classroom Connections
Home Front. Find out about American life at home during the War.
Women in World War II. Learn about what women did during the war, both at home and on the battlefront.
Rationing. The U.S. government began rationing supplies during World War II. Find out what things were rationed. Interview an older person who can remember items that were rationed.
World War II Countries. Albert came from Hungary. Learn more about this country. Choose a country and learn about how it was involved in World War II.
World War II Events. The story took place after D-Day, 1944. Find information on what ended the War and why. Create a news story about the end of the war.
Rockaway Beach. Explore the area where Lily lived. Would you like to live on the beach? Why or why not.
Victory Gardens. What would you grow in a victory garden? Why?
Classroom Connections
As a 6th grade Language Arts teacher, I find Lily's Crossing a magnificent book for my students. Last year, I read the book to them---they took notes as I read. I was able to introduce them to B-24s via the internet, WWII, the Holocaust...and all the topics related to the book.
This year, since the school didn't have money for more novels, I bought 35 copies (a class set) for my students. I also purchased the audiotape. I found a candy store that still sells Necco Wafers, so I have ordered those for my students to try --- I also have the Walnettos. I am hoping to use Lily's Crossing for my classes year after year. The students learn many interesting details that might be missed in other novels----black out screens, painted headlights (I didn't know this one), and ration books.
I also hope that someday there will be a movie of this novel. That way, I can also show that and have students compare/contrast novel to movie.
My kids will be making Victory Garden posters and will plant a Victory Garden in the classroom. I will also be letting them listen to Portia Faces Life--- as I found a copy! I also have the actual picture of the poster which hangs in the bakery "Loose Lips Sink Ships," and photos of B-24s.
And besides all of that--------- the science teacher will be helping them with the constellations; the geography teacher will be helping them with the location---she's from NY, so she knows Rockaway Beach (as does the science teacher)--and Albert's journey------- and the math teacher will be helping them plot the miles. It's going to be a great experience!
For the students' monthly oral presentations during the time we are reading Lily's Crossing, the students do research on the net, in the library, and by interviewing women who were alive during WWII. They do a small report and then make a poster to go with that. I also show them the movie "Fly Girls" done by PBS, which portrays the life of the WASP during WWII.
When we have finished the novel, students work in groups to develop a radio soap opera like "Portia Faces Life" in the novel. Each group is responsible for a scene from the book, complete with a commercial. They add their own sound effects, their own music, and they paraphrase a scene.

Karyn M. Wolven



Lily's Crossing was one of the best books I've ever read I got it for christmas this year and by boxing day I was finished it! It had so many twists and turns that could never guess what would happen next.Thank you for writing such a great book!I can't wait to read another one of your books. Megan G.
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Created by Annette Lamb, 10/99. Updated 10/01.

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